Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Priacanthus arenatus, Bigeye, Atlantic Bigeye

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

D, C & A: no oval spots
pelvic base: dark blotch
C concave
mouth opens above midline
preopercle: no spine, rear edge scaly

Priacanthus arenatus Cuvier, 1829

Bigeye, Atlantic Bigeye

Body deep, oval and laterally compressed; a large, upturned, oblique mouth with a projecting lower jaw; head profile asymmetrical, tip of lower jaw above midline of body; no spines on the head; preopercle spine reduced or absent in adults (>12.5 cm); fin spines with tiny spines; dorsal fin X, 13-15, spines increasing in size to rear, last longest but < 2x length of 2nd; pelvic fins of moderate length, broadly fused to belly; anal III, 14-16; tail fin slightly concave; posterior edge of scales on body raised; scales in lateral series 83-89; 9-12 scale rows between dorsal fin origin and lateral line; rear of preopercle scaled.

Red on body, head, and iris of eye; body may be silvery with reddish bars; fins red to light pink, dusky membranes in dorsal, anal, and tail fin; a dark blotch at pelvic base.

Size: 45 cm.

Habitat: Found near reefs and rocky areas.

Depth: 10–587 m.

Found in tropical and warm waters in western and eastern Atlantic; N Carolina to Uruguay.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Water column
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 45
Depth Range Min
  • 10
Depth Range Max
  • 587